back to article Dizzy: the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure

Resident Evil is considered a classic by many. But did you know that the design of the first three games was popularised ten years prior by a little eggy wegg? Dizzy was never actually conceived as an egg. His rotund form emerged merely as a way for Philip and Andrew Oliver to more easily spin the little fellow during his eight …

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Ahh Dizzy...

I hated all the Dizzy games, but I loved Phil Rustons' parody games "Wibble World Giddy", "Giddy II: Hero in an Eggshell" and "Giddy 3".

The former two were on the Amiga, and the third was an MS-DOS game. I got the assembler sources of Giddy 3 from Phil a couple of years ago, re-wrote it all in C, and now its available for Windows, Mac, webOS, Nintendo Wii, AmigaOS 4.x and MorphOS here:

http://www.giddy3.co.uk

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Tablet Gaming Dizzy

A buggy version was released for Android lately. Also available on other devices.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dnastudios.dizzypoty

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Head spinning

Remember Panic Dizzy, you had to move a conveyor belt of shape holes such that they matched the shapes that were falling. Got ridiculously quick and impossible to finish!

Dizzy Prince of Yolkfolk on the PC, one of my first PC games, looked glorious in VGA!

A re-imagining of the Dizzy games, perhaps as an RPG using the Dirt3 engine would be great, Codemasters!

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sure I had a Dizzy game on the PC - it started with you in a castle dungeon?

Can't remember if I finished it or not.

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Fantasy World Dizzy perhaps?

The best one in my opinion, and the third in the main series. One of the very first puzzles was giving stale bread to a rat and there was a painting of Treasure Island Dizzy in the first above-ground room.

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Anonymous Coward

Fantasy World Dizzy

That's the one!

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ah I loved dizzy!

Wasn't one of them on the speccy called Kwik Snax? I remember the badly digitised speech and the Dizzy band playing on startup, but was an entirely different game on the C64?

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Anonymous Coward

I met the Oliver twins back in 2009... they are insane, watching a presentation held by the pair of them leaves your head spinning >.<

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Anonymous Coward

Ahh yes

I miss my gaming childhood too. I can remember Dizzy and thinking it must be a big thing, but I have to be honest, I thought it was boring, so I didn't play it. Still don't get it.

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So Glad!

Someone admitted that. All my mates were into Dizzy and would spend hours retracing their steps to solve a puzzle.

I couldn't be arsed and didn't see the point. Still don't.

But, seeing the graphics does bring back fond memories of the music and the ample free time during school holidays!

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So close..

I never quite beat the original Dizzy... used to get the potion made OK and into the final room, but could never get close to the wizard...

Awesome game though, inspired a lot of what I write now.

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The Best thing about these games was....

...I could buy them from my local sweetshop and they were £1.99, and they were genuine!

Not so many publishers, etc trying to rip off the paying public.

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Oh Yes!

I remember going to our local farm shop and they had a wall of Speccy games. At that point there were no huge ad campaigns or magazines, so you never knew what was coming out. I used to just see what was new. But yes, super cheap!

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Yolkfolk on IOS and Andriod!

Looks like you can get some yolkfolk action on iphone and android now. Good times!

http://www.dizzygame.com/

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Gimp

Memories of Childhood

I did manage to complete all of the Dizzy Games, though I had to come back to the original as it was just too hard at the time.

I managed to collect the 30 coins for Treasure Island Dizzy (or tid as we affectionately knew it) by simple expedient of methodically clicking every pixel of the place looking for the coins hidden behind the scenery. Doing that underwater, considering you had to go back to the surface every two clicks, was somewhat time consuming!

I was always slightly smug that I had an Amstrad and so had red boxing gloves on Dizzy. My mate's speccy version was white all over!

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone who had a CPC464 remember the name of a fiendishly difficult game that had you playing a helicopter trying to escape/whatever from a maze? It had some synthesised speech at the start too (which was like black magic, in the mid 80's) and a keyboard thing that visually played a pretty heftily polyphonic tune, before you even got into the game. All in 48k (since 16k of the CPC's memory was the frame buffer). Dear lord, those were the days of coding efficiency...

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Although I don't know the CPC version, the obvious candidate would be Airwolf:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxih2tohaIk

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Rambo First Blood, part II?

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And the correct answer is

A game called FlySpy.

Very, very confusing, especially the part when you're flying around in someone's brain. Had a very good soundtrack though.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes! FlySpy! That was it. Gonna have to get an emulator and see if I can complete it, as I never did on the original CPC.

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Homebrew Dizzy

I was quite active on the Speccy PD scene in the 90s when the fall of communism (indirectly) led to the explosion of home made Spectrum clones and some incredible programmers. I think we had about a dozen unofficial homemade (but still incredibly made) sequels around at the time.

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Gimp

Good times

Fantastic games, and all on budget.

The original was coded on a CPC 6128 in the MAXAM assembler and then ported to the Spectrum using a special cable the Olivers had built for them. True cross platform development and all in their bedroom!

They only had one CPC so one of them would code while the other slept! They'd also periodically give the computer a chance to cool down as well.

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titular memories

"The original was coded on a CPC 6128 in the MAXAM assembler and then ported to the Spectrum using a special cable the Olivers had built for them. True cross platform development and all in their bedroom!"

Interesting that you mention that.

It is more than just a cable, it is a Z80 PIO hooked up to the bus on the speccy side, and the printer port on the amstrad side. I say is, because contrary to popular opinion, it is not lost. It is still sitting in a box in my private collection, where it has been for a long time. If I can find the driver software, I will have to dump it and create a schematic of the hardware.

On a related note, I must find my collection of master and sample tapes and dump them too.

If anyone wants me to, I can take some photos for verification purposes. It will take a few days though, need to get at the box in question. Hell, if ElReg wants to take a look and have a fondle of this one-off piece of hardware, get in touch.

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"How did you get hold of that??"

A contact rescued it before it went in the skip. The portakabins at the farm (literally a farm in Southam) were being cleared out for the next lot of coders and test monkeys.

At one point, I also had the source code to the Amiga version of Universe (by Core Design). Like an idiot, I needed some hd space so deleted it without backing it up. facepalm.jpg

50Mb was a _lot_ of hd space in those days, and on my budget that many floppies was out of the question.

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lpopman...

I dunno if elReg is interested, but I strongly suspect Retrogamer would like to take a look. And some photos for the WorldOfSpectrum bunch wouldn't go amiss, either ;)

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Pint

titular thingy

I've been thinking about getting in touch with WoS, but have been hesitant until now in order to protect my source. Now that they've left the industry I can be a bit more open about it. I'm thinking it may be worthwile contacting the Oliver Twins too, I've heard they're quite friendly :)

FWIW I wasn't really expecting ElReg to answer, It's just that I know they like to do these sorts of things in the pub. Any opportunity to try and blag a pint, basically :D

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Pint

@lpopman Please contact World of Spectrum

I suspect they'd love to hear from you. So much of our computing history is lost. It would be lovely to see the item photographed and detailed online.

Likewise your master tapes. WoS have the ability to preserve tape content digitally in the TZX format if need be.

I suspect Retrogamer will be more interested than El Reg though. It must be coming up for issue 100 soon!

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Anonymous Coward

Careful

Speaking as an ex-employee of theirs, the Oliver Twins are also notoriously lovers of litigation, so proceed cautiously. Codemasters happily sues ex-employees, Nintendo etc, and would think nothing of suing you for this when it comes to their attention. AFAIK the twins are no longer directly involved in Codemasters, but still, have some common sense and caution before proudly displaying something stolen from a skip of theirs.

I am not making a judgement call, just a word of advice. Sadly the twins and Codemasters are not the lovable people you might imagine them to be.

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Big Brother

titular things

@AC: This is precisely the reason I've not said a word about it until now.

Anyway, I'm going to shut up now and contemplate things. This could actually be bad.....

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Magic(land)

Awesome, been waiting for this! Favourite was Magicland, I imagine still to come in the "TBC" article. Bubble Dizzy was an interesting concept I seem to remember.

Share wholeheartedly the half-assed story lines that were invented under the same conditions that Magic Roundabout was conceived - it weirdly added to the charm, and as a child it seemed amusing and feasible!

Not to mention the new Yolkfolk: http://www.dizzygame.com/

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And the rest???

Great to see Dizzy getting a mention here, but where are Magicland, Spellbound, Prince of the Yolkfolk, etc. Even Kwik Snax? Or are those so "non-canon" they're not worth a passing mention? IMHO they were far better games. Well, with the exception of Kwik Snax, but that made up for it with the animated band sequence on the opening screen! Anyway, I digress. Just because they weren't done by the Oliver Twins doesn't detract from their importance to the 80's gaming scene. Spellbound Dizzy for one was an instant classic and fiendishly difficult.

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Go

...and another thing...

When are you going to do a Tim Follin special?

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Got a box full of C64 games from a car boot sale some time ago, there's a few Dizzy games in there. They seem to be remembered by many people. I'd sold my C64 for an Amiga 500 in 1987 so it passed me by.

Looking at them they seem to be similar to the 2nd and 3rd Magic Knight series, Spellbound and Knighttime.

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Oh wow

Now there's a blast from the past - the Knight series were, in a very roundabout way, an early precusor of the point and click genre.

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titular thingy

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned DizzyAGE, an engine with remakes of all the classic Dizzy games and a few fangames as well.

http://yolkfolk.com/dizzyage/

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Anonymous Coward

iOS

Paid and downloaded the new Dizzy game for iPad. Very dissapointed, graphics are some weird cartoony which have none of the magic of the old 8-bit yet arent up to todays standards either. Very glitchy too.

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Stop

When my family first bought an Amiga 500 (our first computer), the two games we got with it were F/A18 Interceptor (which was great), and Treasure Island Dizzy, which looked much better, but was so bastard hard (especially for a 10 year old) that I still have a grudge against it.

I do remember fantasy land dizzy being slightly less like hitting yourself over the head with a game over screen though.

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Missed

I had a CPC464 but this game passed me by. Codemasters started a trend for £1.99 games. Would that they were still so cheap. Nice article.

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Holmes

Trend for 1.99 games

Actually it was Mastertronic who kicked off the idea of 1.99 games. Codemasters launched later. The Darlings were actually previously writing for Mastertronic. See games like Chiller for example.

Codemasters just beat Mastertronic at their own game. Mastertronic diluted their brand with lots of spin off brands and got distracted by the Sega stuff. Short term that was probably more profitable but only one of the companies survives today.

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Angel

Oddly enough...

...I was looking for Dizzy offerings last night for the JesusPhone/FondleSlab.

There was also a version based loosely on The Crystal Maze which featured a cartoon Richard O'Brien guiding our little eggy bloke through the levels ; I remember at one time someone had put a version to play online.

(was also a massive fan of the Bitmap Brothers' Chaos Engine - want that one again as well)

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Interesting article - thanks!

Hi Andy,

Comparing Dizzy to Resident Evil is a bit of stretch! :-)

Anyway - Dizzy was written some 25 years ago - by 2 teenage kids out of a bedroom. So whilst not perfect, it wasn't bad - esp. given the price of £1.99. We are still proud that the game is fondly remembered by so many.

The recent iPad/iPhone/Android game came about after Paul Ranson wrote it "on spec." - not even knowing if it would ever see the light of day. I think he did a great job considering the risk he took. The game was very successful and reviewed well - so it's highly likely there will be more.

Regarding the bugs - an update is due VERY shortly - it contains various improvements too.

BTW - if you want to know more about Dizzy or any of our other games - we collect all the info here... (our memories are no good for this stuff ;-) ) www.OliverTwins.com

All the best,

Philip Oliver (aka an Oliver Twin).

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Speccy conversions

It's a shame that the Dizzy games on the Amstrad CPC we just conversions of the Spectrum version. The CPC could do far more superior graphics and sound. This was common with a lot of games on the CPC that were Speccy conversions.

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